Kirramosa completes Wakeful-Oaks double

| November 14, 2013
Kirramosa wins G1 VRC Oaks

Kirramosa wins G1 VRC Oaks

Nash Rawiller has had a tough few days at Flemington, but his victory aboard Kirramosa in the $1 million Victoria Oaks comes as a welcome remedy.

The winner of 53 Group Ones watched in agony as Fiorente raced to victory in the Melbourne Cup following his much-publicised sacking from the horse.

On Tuesday he also had to contend with a bumpy ride without his irons, while earlier Thursday he was dumped from a runner past the post.

But everything unfolded perfectly for Rawiller aboard Kirramosa, who gunned down Zanbagh and Solicit in a driving finish to the 2,500-metre fillies classic.

“It’s been a tough week,” he said. “You have to roll with the punches.

“It’s not how you get kicked down, it’s how you get back up.”

Kirramosa becomes the eighth of the past 11 favourites to win the Oaks and another to complete the Wakeful-Oaks double.

Her trainer, New Zealand horseman John Sargent, decided only late to run Kirramosa in the Wakeful, fearing she would not handle two runs within a week.

Rawiller, who missed the Wakeful ride thinking she was not going to run, thanked Sargent for honouring his commitment for the Oaks mount.

“I truly thank him and obviously it gives me a great thrill to get the job done for him,” Rawiller said.

“This filly’s a really good stayer and her staying quality showed through. She could be the real deal definitely into the autumn and later on as a four-year-old mare.”

With blinkers on, Solicit raced keenly out in front and to her credit fought on doggedly when Zanbagh and Kirramosa challenged in the straight.

Sargent said running in the Wakeful proved the right decision.

“The big question today was whether she’d back up, but the proven form is going through the Wakeful – that’s why we did it,” he said.

“There’s not a lot of her, not big, but a very big constitution. She’s got a great temperament that makes her a good horse.

“She’ll go for a spell for six weeks and probably target Sydney in the autumn.”

Blake Shinn on Zanbagh decides against protest

Kirramosa moved in to brush Zanbagh in the closing stages of the race but Blake Shinn aboard the runner-up decided against lodging an objection.

“The horse just outside me had a head on me once the contact was made. She held that initial margin to the wire. If I made it to a nose, I would have protested it,” Shinn said.

“But with the margin as what it was, I didn’t feel as though I had enough grounds for an objection.”

Glen Boss was frank in his assessment of Solicit’s performance.

“Just a big mistake putting blinkers on,” he said.

Nicholas Hall aboard one-time Oaks favourite May’s Dream said his filly raced a little keen in winkers and would be better suited over 1,600m.

New Zealand trainer John Sargent sealed his move across the Tasman with a thrilling victory by Kirramosa in a three-way finish to the VRC Oaks at Flemington.

Driven to the line by Nash Rawiller, Kirramosa prevailed by a long head over another Sydney-trained filly, Zanbagh, with the pair coming together in the straight.

Celebrations were put on hold while Blake Shinn, the rider of the Guy Walter-trained runner-up, studied the head-on footage before deciding against a protest with the margin between the pair a long head.

“There’s no doubt Zanbagh was disadvantaged but she had the chance to run the other filly down,” Walter said.

“We are very proud of the job she’s done.”

Sargent, who has retained a small stable in New Zealand, moved his better horses to Randwick at the beginning of the season.

He admitted he had some doubts about backing Kirramosa up after her win in Saturday’s Wakeful Stakes but punters had no fears, sending her out the $2.70 favourite over Zanbagh ($7).

“She has a great constitution but she’s not a very big filly and my concern was whether she would back up,” Sargent said.

“I thought Zanbagh was coming back strong but Nash is such a good rider.”

Solicit set out in front and stuck on well to finish a short head behind Zanbagh.

The three placegetters had the final 200 metres to themselves.

Rawiller, who was sacked as Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente’s rider last month, was enthusiastic about the win, saying the filly’s staying ability was evident and praising Sargent for the feat.

“There’s no doubt in the world the best stayer won,” he said.

“She’s as tough as nails and it’s a great training effort off a pretty light preparation.

“There was no sort of urgency from any other rider early. I was more than happy to just to get her straight into a rhythm which she did.

“She could be the real deal coming into the autumn.”

The 2500 metres found a few of the fillies out but third-placed Solicit ($11) was one who showed she could cope.

“She was too aggressive in the blinkers and it probably cost her the race,” her trainer Mathew Ellerton said.

Kirramosa is from the first crop of foals by 2008 Toorak Handicap winner Alamosa who stands at stud in New Zealand.

Zanbagh is by Bernadini out of 2004 Australian Oaks winner Wild Iris while Solicit’s pedigree is also stout with the filly by Street Cry out of Danehill mare Princesa.

 


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